WITH a three-game losing streak staring at their faces, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will have to play with a sense of urgency when they take on defending champion TNT Tropang Giga today, June 23, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Since winning its season opener, Rain or Shine has lost three straight games, dropping the Elasto Painters in the lower half of the team standings.
Now the Elasto Painters need to pick themselves up and try to get back on the winning track. Standing in their way are the Tropang Giga, who are looking to notch their fourth win in six games.
Game time is 7:15 p.m. right before the match between NorthPort and Meralco at 5:15 p.m.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Mikey Williams has returned to the country, but has yet to rejoin the Tropang Giga pending the finalization of his restructured agreement with TNT.
Williams attended the PBA Press Corps awards night on Tuesday where he received the Scoring Championship plum. He was also a member of the Order of Merit for having the most number of Best Player of the Game awards and the All-Rookie Team, where he was joined by Jamie Malonzo, Joshua Munzon, Calvin Oftana and Leonard Santillan.
TNT head coach Chot Reyes and team manager Jojo Lastimosa saw some progress in the team's discussions with Williams and it will only be a matter of time before the 6-foot-2, former NBA D-League player rejoins the team.
Williams was instrumental in TNT's conquest of the Philippine Cup last season.
For the Elasto Painters, it's all about getting everybody in sync and while the team is still considered as a work in progress, Rain or Shine's modest objective is to try to pick up as many wins as possible.
Meanwhile, NorthPort and Meralco try to get back on the winning track as both teams had just tasted separate defeats.
In fact, the Batang Pier had lost back-to-back games, including the latest one — a 97-90 loss at the hands of the vastly-improving Blackwater Bossing in an emotionally-filled encounter that saw NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio bumping his counterpart, Ariel Vanguardia during the post-game pleasantries.
Jarencio was fined P20,000 for his behavior.
The Bolts, on the other hand, dropped a 78-71 loss to the Tropang Giga as Aaron Black missed the game with a hand injury. The second generation cager, who has been the most consistent performer for Meralco in the recent finals series against Ginebra, will remain a doubtful starter today.
Games Today (Ynares Center, Antipolo)
5:15 p.m. NorthPort vs Meralco
7:15 p.m. Rain or Shine vs TNT